Sharjah: Afghanistan’s Hazrathullah Zazai displayed his skills as an emerging hard-hitter in world cricket through a powerful knock of 76 to steer Maratha Arabians to an emphatic nine-wicket victory over Bengal Tigers in the second match of the T10 League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. This 20 year old, who shares the world record for the fastest half century in 12 balls with Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle in T20 cricket, hit 10 boundaries and four sixes during the course of his 35 ball knock.
Bengal Tigers, who were restricted to 91 for 7, failed to fightback due this youngster’s knock. England’s hard hitting opener, who was his partner, watched the youngster’s hits with awe and remained unbeaten on 15 as Arabians won the match with 10 balls to spare.
Earlier, Arabians won the toss and elected to bowl. Roelof Erasmus van der Merwe picked the wicket of opener Luke Wright for just 3. James Faulkner clean bowled one-drop Sherfane Rurtherford for 15 and when Jason Roy to Dwayne Bravo for 27, Bengal slipped to 47 for 3 in 4.1 overs.
To make matters worse, skipper Sam Billing got run out for 0. Faulkner also dismissed Kevin Cooper for a duck while Rashid Khan ended his compatriot Mohammad Nabi’s knock of 16 by clean bowling him.
UAE’s Chirag Suri and Aamer Yamin steered the team from 66 for 6 to a total of 91 with Suri falling to the last ball of the innings from Richard Gleeson for 10. Yamin remained unbeaten on 17.
Zazai began his knock by hitting Mujeeb Ur Rehman for a six and a boundary in the first over . In the second over bowled by Yamin, the hero of their first match with four wickets in four balls against Northern Warriors, was hit for two straight fours by Zazai with tremendous power. Zazai did not spare Morne Morkel too and hit two boundaries in the fourth over. Hales played second fiddle and their 50 runs partnership came in 5.1 overs with Zazai scoring 40 of those runs. Bengal’s fielding too wavered giving away easy runs and dropping catches. Zazai reached his 50 in 27 balls and celebrated it by hitting two successive sixes off Yamin. He fell after equaling the score to Zaheer Khan, who had him caught at long on. “I enjoyed my knock as the ball was coming into the bat and also I capitalised on some of the dropped catches, It is a ten over format and one should try and hit every ball so I focused on every ball to hit,” said Zazai.